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Wed, 2017-10-11 08:38

Fast Facts: 2017 Fair Hill International

Doug Payne is bringing back Mr. Mitchel to contest the 5-year-old YEH Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The 2017 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day gets underway today in Elkton, Md. with the first veterinary inspection. The event plays host to a CCI3*, CCI2* and the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships. For many eventers this is the highlight of their fall season and hours of work went into the event – here’s what you need to know:

YEH Fast Facts

  • This is the ninth year the YEH East Coast Championships will be hosted at Fair Hill International.
  • Judy Bradwell, Mark Weissbecker, and Faith Fessenden will judge the YEH Championships – the same on both coasts.
  • There will be 35 5-year-olds and 20 4-year-olds competing for the Championship Titles. This is over four times as many as competed on the West Coast.
  • 26 of the entries will be competing for the Born in America award. 
  • Thoroughbreds will be honored with the top U.S. Bred Thoroughbred as well as Jockey Club T.I.P awards.
  • The Safe Harbor award will be presented once again to the young horse who consistently exhibits the most graceful and rider friendly performance throughout the competition.
  • 12 of the 5-year-olds competed in last year’s 4-year-old Championships including last year’s reserve champion and the Born in America award-winner, Hopscotch.
  • Both the Champion (Beall Spring Shamrock) and Reserve Champion (Slim N Trim) from the 2016 USEA Future Event Horse East Coast Championships will be competing in the 4-year-old division.
  • Two USEA American Eventing Championship winners will be competing: Kildare's MHS Tampa and Benjamin Button.
  • Only one stallion will be competing: MI Campeon SE and 12 mares.
  • Irish Sport Horse is the most prevalent breed with 19 entered. There are 11 Thoroughbreds and the rest of the field is registered as various types of Warmbloods.
  • Doug Payne is riding the most horses with five total entered.
  • A YEH judging forum will be held during the YEH Championships with participants learning from top judge and YEH committee co-chair, Marilyn Payne.


Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude competing in the 2016 Fair Hill CCI3*. USEA/Shelby Allen Photo.

CCI Fast Facts

  • 38 horses are entered in the CCI3* and 63 are entered in the CCI2*
  • Riders will be competing for $50,000 in prize money (CCI3*-$35,000/CCI2*-$15,000)
  • The cross-country course designer is Derek di Grazia and the show jumping course will be designed by Sally Ike.
  • The judges for the CCI3* are Pres: Les Smith (GBR); Members: Bobby Stevenson (USA); Gretchen Butts (USA). For the CCI2* Pres:  Wayne Quarles (USA); Member: Kellie Towers (CAN) 
  • Nine of the three-star horses are returning from last year, but only one finished in the top-10 in 2016: Fernhill Fortitude ridden by Jenny Caras. Three of the three-star entries competed in the two-star last year.
  • Jessica Phoenix and Buck Davidson are both riding three mounts each with three other riders competing two apiece in the CCI3*.
  • There are three riders with the last name Martin entered in the three-star, but have no relation to each other. However, the two Fultons entered in the two-star are sisters.
  • The Fair Hill CCI3* and CCI2* are designated as USEF National Championships.  
  • Fair Hill is one of only five CCI3*s in North America and could potentially become one of two CCI4*s. 


Lots of ribbons on offer this week! USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Competition Schedule (Full schedule with special events available here)

Wednesday, October 11
1:00 p.m. CCI Horse Inspection

Thursday, October 12
8:00 a.m CCI Dressage
8:00 a.m. YEH Dressage

Friday, October 13
8:00 a.m. CCI Dressage
8:00 a.m. YEH Jumping Phases 

Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CCI2* Cross-Country
1:45 - 4:45 p.m. CCI3* Cross-Country

Sunday, October 15
8:00 a.m. CCI Horse Inspection (2* then 3*)
10:00 a.m. CCI2* Show Jumping, in reverse order of standing
11:30 a.m. CCI2* Awards
1:00 p.m. CCI3* Show Jumping
2:30 p.m. CCI3* Awards

Helpful Links
Fair Hill Website
YEH Ride Times
CCI Order of Draw
YEH Live Scoring
CCI Live Scores

About the USEA Young Event Horse Series
The USEA Young Event Horse Series (YEH) is best described as an eventing talent search. The goal is to identify young horses that possesses the talent and disposition that, with proper training, can excel in the uppermost levels of eventing. While the ultimate aim is to identify the future four-star horses, many fine event horses who will excel at the lower levels will also be showcased.

The Series gives owners and breeders the opportunity to showcase the potential of their four- and five-year-old horses while encouraging the breeding and development of top-level event horses for the future. Classes focus on education and preparation of the event horse in a correct and progressive manner. Youngsters are asked to complete three sections: Conformation/Type, Dressage, and Jumping Test/Gallop/General Impression. To view the jumping standards and specifications, go here.

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